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What Is Basic Obedience Training for Dogs?


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Aaargh, not again Milo!” You exclaim in frustration. You feel like your pup is just a wild animal. They pull on their leash, drag you every which way, turn your yard into a minefield of ‘landmines,’ (pun intended), and are generally deaf to your commands. Perhaps, a canine training class could save your day (and life).

At Spectrum Canine Dog Training, we understand your pain and have the solution. For starters, basic obedience training teaches your pup to respond to simple commands like sit, come, stay, and heel. It also helps them understand what it means when you say “no” or use other basic cues. The idea is to equip your furry friend with the skills they need to understand what you expect from them and how to be a well-behaved family member. Let’s explore some core elements you need to understand about basic obedience training for dogs.

How Does a Dog Learn?

How intelligent is a dog? Generally, dogs are smarter than we give them credit for – you can equate their intelligence to a two-year-old toddler’s. And while some breeds have a higher IQ, obedience doesn’t come naturally to your pup. Thus, basic obedience training is critical – it sets the foundation for a long happy life together.

To a dog, immediate consequences are more important than long-term ones. Hence, a reward given instantly can have a stronger impact on your pup’s behavior than one given later. As such, positive reinforcement such as treats, praise, and petting is integral to basic obedience training.

What’s more? Your voice’s tone can hugely impact a dog’s behavior. Toddlers can interpret your tone, and so can your pup. Case in point, when you use a stern voice, a toddler can tell you’re serious about something or don’t condone certain behavior.

Dogs can also pick up on your verbal and non-verbal cues. Similarly, they can interpret a softer or more pleasant tone to mean they are in the clear.

We can also classify a dog’s intelligence into various categories. Some of the commonly known categories include:

  • Instinctive – Dogs are instinctively born with some basic behaviors, such as how to bark and go potty outside. These innate behaviors are part of their natural defense and survival instincts.
  • Adaptive – This type of learning is based on the dog’s experiences with its environment. Dogs pick up behaviors from those around them – other animals or humans. For instance, if you consistently reward your dog for sitting, they will figure out that such behavior is acceptable.
  • Working or Obedience – This entails the ability to learn commands – the essence of training to shape their behavior.    

At Spectrum Canine Dog Training, we aim to teach your pup the skills to be an obedient and well-behaved dog who can coexist happily with people and other animals. We cover everything from basic commands, potty training, and leash walking to more complex behaviors like recall and socialization.

The Best Methods to Promote Obedience

To get Fido to understand and learn to ‘act right,’ you must lead the way. Positive reinforcement is one of the best methods to promote obedience in dogs. Rewards such as treats and praise are effective incentives for the dog to continue following your commands.

As we stated, dogs are more concerned about the here and now – it pays if you can reward your pup immediately if they do something you like. That way, they learn to associate their good deed with the reward. Plus, they’re more likely to repeat the action hoping for a treat or some loving words.

Aversive techniques, on the other hand, don’t always work and are not recommended. For starters, they can make your pup fearful and aggressive. Sure, they may not be cruel, but such methods can make your dog resentful and unresponsive to your commands. The last thing you want is for your tail-wager to associate you with ‘bad vibes’ such that whenever you’re around, they feel like they’re going to get in trouble.

Spectrum Canine Dog Training offers basic obedience training through positive reinforcement and other reward-based methods to promote good behavior. Even when modifying a particular behavior, we rely on rewards to encourage desirable behavior. After all, basic training classes should be fun and rewarding.

We also understand every dog is unique, so our classes are designed with their learning styles in mind. Our team of experienced trainers can help formulate a training plan to give your fur buddy the training they deserve.

The Best Methods to Promote Obedience

Our obedience training program allows your pup to learn basic commands. We also offer crate training classes that teach your pup to be comfortable in a crate, or carrier. That way, you can safely and securely transport them.

Basic obedience classes are also important in socializing your pup, allowing them to interact with other dogs and people correctly. And, of course, it’s beneficial to you as their parent. A pup trained to obey commands is a source of pride and joy. Plus, you know they can behave as expected when the need arises. For instance, you can take them out in public or travel assured that they won’t run around or become a nuisance.

Some of the other upsides of basic obedience training include the following:

  • Building your pup’s confidence.
  • Keeping them safe and out of harm’s way.
  • Reducing the chance of aggression.
  • Enhancing experiences with other professionals such as groomers and vets.

Our classes also equip you with the skills to continue obedience training at home, making it a fun and rewarding experience. And given that the onus will be upon you to reinforce the obedience commands, we can provide training tips and advice on making it a success.

Maximize Training Sessions

It’s tempting to want to bombard your pup with commands and pack a week’s worth of learning into one session. However, this could be counterproductive as it overwhelms the dog and may cause them to become unresponsive. Would you do the same to their two-year-old human companion? No. Hence, here’re pointers to help them learn better:

  • Use simple commands and execute them consistently.
  • Be patient and consistent – training is a process, not a solution.
  • Reward them immediately after they obey your commands.
  • Correct misbehavior with a stern voice instead of harsh words.
  • Keep the sessions short – small, manageable bits of information are easier for pups to retain.

Basic obedience training is like the start of an adventure or journey – for you and your pup. Once they master the basics, they can learn more complex commands and activities. A professional trainer can help them learn the basics. At Spectrum Canine Dog Training, we offer basic obedience classes for all ages, breeds, and personalities in the San Francisco Bay Area. Check us out at for more information about our programs. Also, consider enrolling your fur buddy in our board and train program or obedience classes and watch as they shine.

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Spectrum Canine Dog Training, 

34060 Rowland Dr., 

Fremont CA 94555, 

(510) 629-9498

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